Complaints against Donegal nightclub's billboard upheld 'on the grounds of the exploitation or demeaning of women' 2 years ago

Complaints against Donegal nightclub's billboard upheld 'on the grounds of the exploitation or demeaning of women'

There were 64 complaints filed against the advertisement.

Back in May this year, an Irish nightclub removed a billboard deemed offensive to women by a Donegal councillor.

The image, for Libertys club in Buncrana, Donegal, was of a female golfer from behind and said: "Libertys: Your 19th hole for the summer".

Speaking when the billboard was erected, Sinn Féin councillor Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said: "This large billboard sign on the approach to my hometown of Buncrana is just plain offensive to women.

"And it is offensive to men who respect the women in their lives."

This week, it has been found to be in breach of advertising rules.

According to the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland, 64 complaints were received. The main issues raised were in relation to the advertisement being offensive, misogynistic and promoting a rape culture.

Many complainants considered that the advertisement had an inappropriate focus on the image of the woman’s bottom and that the depiction of the woman reduced her to a sexual object and that she was objectified in the advertisement.

Some complainants considered that the advertisement implied that the woman was a ‘golf hole’, and a number of complainants suggested that despite the golfing term '19th hole' relating to a club bar, in this case, it was a reference to the woman’s bottom.

Many complainants also considered the implication was that men could access sex with young women at the nightclub and that it prompted sexually predatory behaviour.

In their response, the advertiser stated that no offense was intended by their advertising and that it was decided that the wording would be complemented by the image of a man or woman with a golf club.

They said there was no conscious decision to use an image of a woman as opposed to a man in the advertisement. They said that during the finalisation of the advertisement some image options were considered for inclusion that was of a man as opposed to a woman.

In their conclusion, the ASAI announced that "The advertisers were advised that the advertising should not run again in its current format and any future advertising content for any similar events should respect the principle of equality of men and women."